September is looming, and although it is notoriously a bad month
for stocks in general, it's a great month for technology stocks.
Specifically, it's the time for companies to show us what they've
got for the rest of the year-that is, for the critical holiday
sales season and beyond.
So, what have they got?
On the record, not a thing. Off the record, the Web is roiling with
informed guesses, leaks from insiders, and images dropped
accidentally or on purpose.
Here's what it all adds up to for
Apple: Cheap Is Relative
At a launch event on Sept. 10, Apple is expected to add at least
two new models to its phone lineup. It may also throw something
funky and new out there, like the long-rumored Apple iWatch device.
At the top of the line, the iPhone 5S tests at about a third faster
than the previous model,
sources tell Cnet.com
Apple fans are still trumpeting the expanded selection of iPhone
color choices with the new model, though none of them are
especially colorful. In addition to the usual black or white, the
company is expected to offer the new model in a "subtle" brushed
gold as well as-curb your enthusiasm here-a two-toned black and
The new model may also have a higher-quality camera, and a
fingerprint scanner for improved security.
The other new phone from Apple is expected to be the lower-priced
device that Apple stock watchers have long been pushing the company
to introduce. This is shaping up as an iPhone minus a couple of
familiar features, wrapped in a plastic case instead of glass.
The price tag is expected to be about $400, which is not so cheap
for a smartphone these days.
Expected Announcement Date: Sept. 20
Google Bakes a Pie
The Nexus 5, the latest update to Google's smartphone line, will be
released in October or November. At least, that's what many
analysts and other observers firmly believe, despite the fact that
nobody can even say which manufacturer has been chosen to make it.
In fact, Google won't even confirm that it will be released in
Despite the reticence, images of a sleek aluminum "uni-body" shell
labeled Google Nexus 5 are making the rounds of the Internet. The
device will be the first to use the next version of Google's
Android software, code-named "Key Lime Pie."
Best guess is that firm details will start leaking out this week,
since many key Google staff members were definitely too busy to
talk over the last few days.
It was last Thursday that the influential Consumer Reports
organization came out with a recommendation against the new Google
Nexus 7 tablet, citing major problems, including a fluky
touchscreen and a buggy GPS function.
Consumer Reports announced
that Google has released a fix for the glitches. The magazine
reversed itself, declaring the Nexus 7 "a clear winner" and
recommending the device to its readers, in advance of a more
complete analysis due in early September.
So now, Google can get back to pouring Key Lime Pie into a phone.
Expected Announcement Date: End of November at latest.
Nokia Is Sirius About Windows
Nokia is not giving up on
) Windows RT, even after most of the industry has written it off.
Not to mention the fact that Microsoft has written it down, to the
tune of a $900 million loss recorded in its most recent quarter.
The Finnish phone maker is using Windows RT, the lower-priced and
lower-powered version of the Windows 8 operating system, in a
10.1-inch tablet code-named Sirius that is expected to be released
Writing for GigaOm.com, Kevin C. Tofel says this Windows RT device
might be the one to break through. He notes that it will use
a new version
of RT with a much faster processor, a sharper screen, and sleeker
Nokia is expected to price the device at about $499, close to an
Apple iPad, and that could be a problem.
Sirius will be
a bit lighter and thinner than an iPad, and will ship with a
keyboard accessory, but still…
Once-planned RT devices from other manufacturers are not expected
to materialize, but Microsoft is planning its own updated version,
to be called the Surface 2.
There also will be a higher-powered Surface 2 Pro, using the
grownup version of Windows 8.1. That may be the one to watch, since
the Pro got more favorable reviews first time around.
Nokia also is expected to release an updated version of its Windows
phone line with an oversized 6-inch screen this year.
Expected Announcement Date: Sept. 26 for the tablet; late
2013 for the phone.
It's About Time for Samsung
Has anyone ever expressed a desire for a smartwatch? Does anybody
need another watch, or for that matter, another device that needs
to be carried, worn, started up, shut down, recharged, or checked
Doesn't matter. Samsung is so eager to be first among many to
market a smartwatch that it reportedly has scheduled a Sept. 4
event to get one step ahead.
Samsung especially wants to get ahead of Apple, just in case it
reveals its own smartwatch later in the month.
Early reports suggest that the Galaxy Gear smartwatch will work in
tandem with a Samsung phone or tablet, using a Galaxy Gear "watch
It will be an Android-powered device with its own itty-bitty phone,
speakers, and full-color display. Mercifully, it will have no
text-entry capability, but it will accept the usual gestures like
touch, swipe, and select.
So, it sounds like the watch may function as an alert receiver,
making it easier to get a notification that can then be followed
through on the phone.
Just thinking about it is exhausting.
Expected Announcement Date: Sept. 4
Editor's note: This story was updated to include a correction.
Apple will be holding its launch event on Sept.10, not Sept. 20, as
was previously reported.
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